|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3431 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1522 words|
If I wanted to rescue governor Grom’s wife Mirelle, I would need to avoid contact with any other guards. I knew most of them would be on Grom’s side, but it was hard supporting him in this situation. If Stied’s men discovered a guard disobeyed orders, the guard and their family could be punished for it. No matter how loyal they wanted to be to Grom, they would prioritize the safety of their own families, and I did not want to put them at risk either. I would have to either run so fast they could not see me, or in the worst case knock them out silently.
I went into the spire and ran up the stairs right away, reaching a set of heavy and sturdy doors at the top. There were multiple guards stationed there, and around three black knights.
“Who are you?! Wait, that child!”
One of the black knights noticed Juliana on my back, and charged ahead with his sword ready. But I kicked him before he could do anything, sending him spinning in the air before colliding against a wall.
The guards reached for their swords, but the black knights reacted faster. They roared as they attacked me from both sides. I dodge more carefully than usual, being mindful to keep Juliana safe. When I was out of the blades’ paths, I unsheathed my sword and swung it at the two black knights.
Witnessing how stronger I was than them, the guards take a step back while firmly gripping their weapons. I went closer to them and used the flat side of my sword to knock out each one of them. There were dull thuds as each of them fell, while the blood from the black knights began to smell. I did not have the time to search for the key, so I just destroyed the thick door with my sword.
“W-Who are you?! What are you doing here?!”
I heard the terrified voice of a woman inside. I took my helmet off and slowly entered the room, seeing Mirelle holding a dagger inside. I did not see any visible injuries, but her confined life had made her lose a lot of weight…she was worn off. Her clothes looked shabby as well, her hair disarranged, and she had large bags under her eyes.
“Who are you! If you try anything-”
“Calm down, please. It’s me, Lady Mirelle.”
She looked puzzled when I said that, but only for a short moment. The instant she realized who I was, she tried to kneel.
“Lady Luvias! Why…are you here…and what are you wearing?”
“I can explain later. I need to get you out of here first, I have Juliana too.”
She finally noticed Juliana on my back. She rushed towards me with her cheeks streaming with tears, hugging Juliana. But as Grom’s good family, she knew what had to be done, and quickly composed herself again.
“My apologies, your highness.”
“Can you run? I can carry you too if you need it.”
“Don’t be concerned. I felt this situation would arise, so I made sure to keep my body in shape. I can run.”
At least that remained the same. I knew she was probably putting on a bit of a strong front as well, just so she would never show any weakness. But I could tell she was not in the best shape, so I would need to match my pace to her running speed.
“Do you know where governor Grom is being kept?”
“He’s…probably in our room. Though I’m sure he’s under heavy surveillance too…”
“That’s fine. Don’t worry about that. Just keep yourself safe, and I’ll take care of everything else. Let’s go.”
I readjusted the leather belt holding Juliana, and we headed back down the stairs. It seemed like the guards I had knocked out on my way to rescue Juliana had been found, as the castle was getting more noisy, and I could see bonfires lit everywhere, while small troops of guards with torches made rounds. There were too many of them to go undetected, so we quickly were surrounded by guards.
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“Who are you? Let go of Lady Mirelle and Juliana!”
“You can’t hide anymore!”
“Discard your weapon and turn yourself in!”
They all stared at me with anger, but when I reached for my sword, Mirelle stepped forward between us.
She thundered. Usually looked like a small and frail woman, but now her voice rang powerful against the guards, and even I felt pressured. She continued stepping forward, illuminated by the torches, and the guards took a few steps back.
“Listen everyone! Are you really going to act this way knowing this is Princess Luvias? If you point your swords at our hero, there’s no place for Bordaule in this world anymore! You should feel ashamed!”
Saying that Bordaule had no place in the world felt a bit exaggerated, but it was best if I kept that thought to myself. I did not have such a commanding voice over the guards. All I could do was use my sword and fists to convince them through brute strength.
“She rescued my daughter Juliana, and released me from my prison! She easily took down those Black Knights that you all fear! And now she’s heading to save my husband, your governor! Now, will you lend your assistance to your princess?! It’s time you show your loyalty for this house! Take arms with your princess, let’s work together to expunge this city of the foul and arrogant presence of Stied’s men!”
There was a sudden silence after that. It was easy to imagine the conflict in their heads. Would they abandon their lord, and prioritize their own safety? Or would they face the danger and rescue the governor, openly rejecting Stied’s rule. The enemy had pretty much taken over the entire country. But they would be fighting alongside a single princess and her friends in retaliation. Such a fight was obviously disadvantageous. The odds were terrible, and any reasonable person would not bet their lives like that, but still…
Their armors clinked, and one after another they knelt. I could not believe what I was seeing. Just through the power of words alone, without any conflict, the guards had been turned to our side. That was a method I could not use, no matter how much I trained, a way to fight without strength. I felt like I had been shown all over again, just how incapable and inexperienced I was at talking heart to heart with other people.
(I guess one’s character is far more important than one’s strength to find followers like that. What does that mean for me then? While I have close friends, I turned my back to politics, and have no trustworthy followers. Is this my fault for running away from my duties as a princess?)
Even if we rescued Grom, I felt like I would still remain as more of an icon, without much real influence. It was depressing to think about, but I shook my head knowing this was not the time to worry about that. I had to fulfill my current duties first. I walked to Mirelle’s side and addressed the guards myself.
“Gentlemen, I’m not strong enough to rescue governor Grom and return this country to the right path alone. If I want to protect all the people who live here, and give them their regular lives back, I’ll need your help. Please, work with me.”
I bow to them, and I hear murmurs spreading through the guards. Then one of them stands up and holds my shoulder.
“Raise your head, Princess. If that’s your wish, we’ll comply. You just need to give the order, we’ll take our arms, and fight alongside you. I swear we’ll help you, and protect governor Grom, as well as Ladies Mirelle and Juliana with our lives.”
“…Thank you. If I can trust you’ll come with me, I’ll just worry about fighting our way forward. Lady Mirelle.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
I untie Juliana from my back and let Mirelle carry her. Mirelle hugged her dearly, showing how much she missed her daughter after so long, a tear forming in her eye. For a moment I was entranced by them, but I quickly snapped back and unsheathed my sword. Holding it pointed at the sky, I raise my voice.
“Let’s purge this city of Stied’s presence! Spread the word! Capture everyone who formed part of the insurrection! The rest stay here and protect governor Grom’s family, and ten of you come with me! We’ll rescue governor Grom!”
“”Yes, Your Highness!””
I sprint forward and all the guards disperse as well. They were all well-trained guards, and once their minds were set on something, they were quick to act. I knew they would make the best choices even if I left them alone. I also felt reassured by the ten men coming with me, and we headed straight to the room where Grom was being held.